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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Feb 19, 2014 7:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 67: GD second only to the Airplane in national popularity?

This was during the Summer of Love (when as I've mentioned before, I was in San Francisco with my parents, huzzah for me, bus-touring The Haight to See The Hippies) ... so SF was big on the national radar as a cultural phenom, but when I looked up album release dates, only JA had an album out that I'd guess was heard much nationally. So yeah, the writer was reaching for an Owsley link, and the GD probably WAS the second best-known, or maybe neck-and-neck with Moby Grape. But on a curve, it would be a huge cliff-sized drop-off down in well-knownedness from JA. What people really heard on the radio was "Are You Going to San Francisco?" and the Doors and the Byrds -- not the SF sound -- so SF had a rep, but any real knowledge of the music was probably pretty much on the college/underground level.

I'm sure you're right that the Dead got a lot of traction over the years (and decades) from being the Last Ones Standing.

BTW did your brother keep up his interest in the GD and other Bay Area bands at all?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 20, 2014 5:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 67: GD second only to the Airplane in national popularity?

Nope; and that instance, was more revealing of his ability to sum scenes up and offer an objective assessment. He has NEVER wavered from "MGrape was the best, JA was the next tier down, and then the rest, of which I liked QMS the best" (ie, of the third tier). He has always talked about Elvin Bishop showing up (in SF, played w DEAD, fall 68) and saying "these bands are ALL crap! NO body but Balin can sing"; his friend from Santa Crus interviewed him. BTW, I know that "Today" is his, and my, fav JA song...we played it at our brother's wake (the one that always told me about being at the CREAM shows for WofFire...they both NEVER waivered from that: CREAM knocked EVERYONE's socks off, all bands, all groupies, all the time...the BEATLES paled by comparison, in terms of the impact on SF...truly.).

He's told me lately when we talk that it was very much the general consensus; I've found out he hung out w many music wannabees, so he had access to the "scene" at some level...but in any case, the other bands did all fade quickly, and he was one of the many that said the albums of 1970 were a huge step up, because he thought w Pig they were "only a dance jam" band (he saw them many times in 66 & early 67 in HS's and that's all they "were good for"). I've tried to interest him in the early stuff, but he thinks Live DEAD is just a novelty item...he would pull out HapTrails to compare.